U.S. Transportation Secretary Mineta sent to Congress proposed legislation that would strengthen security and safety in the transport of the nation‘s hazardous materials. "We are proposing tough actions to address the serious problem of undeclared shipments of hazardous materials and we are also asking for more authority to stop and inspect shipments." Among the most critical features, the DOT proposed legislation to: strengthen DOT inspectors’ authority to inspect packages in transportation; provide those inspectors with authority to stop seriously unsafe transportation; increase the maximum civil penalty for hazardous materials violations from $27,500 to $100,000; and expand requirements for training persons involved in the transportation of hazardous materials. "With more than 800,000 shipments of hazardous material daily in the United States," Ellen Engleman, Administrator of DOT‘s Research and Special Programs Administration claims that, "What we are proposing would strengthen the safety and security of these shipments, while preserving the mobility vital to our economy."
Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues
Archive for 2001
Determined to establish the most critical time to perform the Open Head Drop Test for a liquid open head steel drum, recent testing was completed at the Tobyhanna Test Laboratories. In question was whether drums dropped 24-hours after closing would fail the drop where drums closed and dropped immediately might pass. The end results shows that, in fact, the opposite condition exists and that the most difficult time to perform the drop test would be at the time of initial closure. It is believed that the results of this test will help to reverse the 24-hour test delay for liquid open heads, introduced at the United Nations by the Committee of Experts.
The EU has passed an emergency measure that prevents any crate, pallet and /or packaging containing soft wood (ie: pine, spruce, fir) from entering any member country effective 01 October, 2001. If the wood packing is not properly marked by an authorized American Lumber Standards Committee (ALSC) agent prior to departure, the packing and its contents are subject to off-loading, delay and additional costs. Buying stamped lumber is not enough the shipper is required to have an ALSC stamp with the unique number assigned to each shipment indicating that the wood has been subjected to specific heat, pressure or fumigation treatments.
Recently, the Federal Appeals Court threw out 8 of the 9 convictions, and most of the $11 Million penalty against a now defunct jet-repair company. As you might recall, canisters that were not empty and not properly stored were placed onto a Valuejet plane in Miami. Moments after take-off, the plane exploded as a result of the improper shipping of the canisters, killing 110 people. Federal law states that the jet-repair company could be convicted only if its employees knew that the canisters were dangerous. The Appeals Court did uphold the company‘s conviction and $2 Million fine for willfully failing to train employees according to the Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations.